Burnley boss Dyche laughs off ‘phantom’ Liverpool link to Tarkowski

Burnley's James Tarkowski looks dejected as he applauds the fans at the final whistle''Photographer Rich Linley/CameraSport''The Premier League - Burnley v Everton - Wednesday 26th December 2018 - Turf Moor - Burnley''World Copyright � 2018 CameraSport. All rights reserved. 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - admin@camerasport.com - www.camerasport.com
Burnley's James Tarkowski looks dejected as he applauds the fans at the final whistle''Photographer Rich Linley/CameraSport''The Premier League - Burnley v Everton - Wednesday 26th December 2018 - Turf Moor - Burnley''World Copyright � 2018 CameraSport. All rights reserved. 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - admin@camerasport.com - www.camerasport.com
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Clarets boss Sean Dyche has dismissed speculation linking Liverpool with James Tarkowski as “bizarre”.

The Sun claimed the Reds had moved to ease their shortage of centre backs by enquiring about the England international’s availability on loan, but Burnley had instead valued him at £50m.

Jurgen Klopp himself has poured cold water on any suggestions he will sign anyone in January, telling TalkSport: “The only country that asks a question like this is England. Everything is sorted with buying players.

“We have four centre-halves. Three, maybe, two-and-a-half are injured so we’ll have to try and come through in the moment.

“We need them back but you cannot buy a fifth centre-half and say so you play two weeks and after that the others come in.”

And Dyche laughed off the “phantom” story: “There are a lot of rumours out there, and not much fact.

“The most amazing one is the Tarky one.

“That is just bizarre.

“It’s that time of the season, and everyone is looking for a snippet, but there is a lot of phantom stuff out there.”

Dyche continues to look for a breakthrough in terms of bringing players in during the window, but accepts he may have to be patient: “There’s been no great progress, we’ve been talking about names, whether they fit us and fit the finances, but it’s still tough.”

He could have right backs Matt Lowton and Phil Bardsley back available to face Fulham at Turf Moor on Saturday, but Johann Berg Gudmunssson is a doubt with a thigh problem: “Matt Lowton is settling down, I think he’s got a good chance, and Phil Bardsley has a decent chance as well. Lowts is probably just in front of him, but both have a chance.

“Johann has a minor one, but we’re hopeful. He finished the game, but has missed a few days with his thigh.

“Stephen Ward came through fine, as did Steven Defour and Nick Pope, with no reactions.”

Dyche is proud of the club’s record with soft tissue injuries over his time in charge, but there has been an increase this season, and he is keen to get to the bottom of it: “We’re looking at the games programme, the amount of games - in that we’ve played more - the amount of game time - we’re looking at all sorts, training schedule...it’s an odd one for us, we’ve usually been good with the soft tissue ones.”

Meanwhile, Burnley know a win over Fulham would give them more breathing space at the bottom, but he expects a different side from the one which beat the Clarets 4-2 at Craven Cottage in August.

Claudio Ranieri has taken over from Slavisa Jokanovic, and Dyche said: “He’s given them more of a defensive framework, more of a 5-4-1, but they still have very good players.

“I don’t think you spend over £100m and don’t bring in quality.

“But the challenge of the Premier League is different, they have been open and expansive, and it’s hard to do that in the Premier League.

“The main thing for us is to focus on what we’re doing at the moment, and this current run of games, where our performances are getting stronger and getting the rewards.

“We’re getting back to where we want to be.

“They are all important games now, for the rest of the season, no one is more important than the other.

“We are capable of getting results against whoever, as we’ve shown, although, statistically the top four, six, home and away are strong, but outside of that, it’s a more open situation and we’ve shown we’re capable of getting results.

“And we’ve still not had that one that drops for you as well.

“We’re happy with where the lads are at at the moment, and when the injuries are completely clear, we’ll have that bit more depth as well.”